Monday, March 28, 2011

Another, more complicated concept map

"The field of media arts presents many unique opportunities for educators and researchers wanting to encourage active learning, make the schooling curriculum relevant to youths’ out-of-school interests, and teach youth how to communicate through a variety of multimodal discourses" (Peppler, 2010, pp. 29-30).
This week I worked on making my concept map even more complex. A new layer of connections contributes with information on creating with media arts and tools in order to give answers to the question "what is the role of arts, computation and digital creativity in new media"? I focus on Peppler's work on media arts, on Reas's tools and on Dewey's ideas, as well as on Sefton Green's creativity ideas. I also draw from my own experiences with my studio projects so far.

You can view an enlarged picture of the concept map HERE.

The role of the arts, computation and digital creativity is important for new media. Peppler's paper showed that impact at the Computer Clubhouse in Los Angeles. As an example, that study highlights the importance that freedom in creativity can have in the ways new media are explored, used and also in the ways they convey messages. It seems that this freedom allows experimentation and exploration within the areas of new media, and people learn through alternative ways of using tools. She promotes the ideas around learning in and out of school, and new media being the diode to such creative learning practices. Scratch is a tool that allows for experiential, experimental and active creation and learning.

Dewey was a great advocate of experiential learning and viewed the arts as an experience through which we grow our identities and knowledge. Along those lines, Reas and Peppler both reinforce this argument with their work. Reas proposes new ways of communicating with the computer, related to programming languages and authoring tools. He proposes Processing, an open source software that allow users to create easily.

Our understanding of new media derived through the ways they are used in daily life. We all design with new media, we share our creations and reflect on them. Creativity is key to how designs are reflected, and how they are being taken up by the audience. The Scratch community is a context where designs are evaluated. Designers publish that work and the community views, engages with the design, rates it, etc. This becomes a process of reflection, as members view and understand the elements that a project has that make it such.

For our designs studios, this is another opportunity for exploration, experimentation and active learning. We take the initiative to give flesh and bones to our idea, and then we share it with the community. I personally learned a lot about the role of new media for learning, as well as about the affordances that new media provide for creative expression and learning. For example, atmosphir was one of the tools that make the greatest impression to me. It is dynamic, and powerful tool that allowed me to experiment with an idea I had, develop it and share it. Whether one is a digital native or a digital immigrant, people can use them in the same ways. Literacy in new media becomes significant in such cases of authoring and digital production.